“The Last Mountain” – great documentary on mountaintop removal coal mining screening in theaters this summer


The mining and burning of coal is at the epicenter of America’s struggle to balance its energy needs with the threat of climate disruption and other social and environmental concerns. Nowhere is that concern greater than in Coal River Valley, West Virginia, where a small but passionate group of ordinary citizens are trying to stop Big Coal corporations, like Massey Energy, from continuing the devastating practice of Mountain Top Removal. See this movie at your earliest opportunity– current theater listings below.

The Last Mountain home page

The Last Mountain – [TRAILER] – Copyright © 2010 Uncommon Productions

Reviews of  the film

Review in the Los Angeles Times:

‘The Last Mountain’

Bill Haney’s documentary looks at West Virginia’s coal country and residents’ efforts to save an Appalachian peak.

By Sheri Linden, Special to the Los Angeles Times

June 15, 2011

“The Last Mountain” is a damning look at Big Coal and its landscape-decimating practices, a litany of disheartening statistics and enraging testimony. But director Bill Haney leavens the lament with a moving portrait of the West Virginia residents who are standing up to the bulldozing — physical and spiritual — to save an Appalachian peak from the fate of its neighbors.

Whether the view is aerial or up close and personal, the documentary presents wrenching evidence that mountaintop removal mining is more expedient for the coal companies — key among them the headline-familiar Massey Energy — and disastrous for just about everyone else.

The consequences extend beyond the Coal River Valley communities, which have had to contend with daily explosive blasts, flooding because of depleted topsoil, precariously stored toxic sludge and odds-defying cancer clusters. Appalachia’s contaminated streams affect water supplies for millions in the Eastern United States. And with coal-fueled electricity plants across the country, the events in a West Virginia hollow reverberate nationwide.

Among the non-local heroes of the film is Robert Kennedy Jr., who’s been taking his environmental cause to the White House since his uncle was chief executive. Kennedy argues that the union-busting coal industry, though it waves the flag and the word “jobs,” has impoverished people. He’s optimistic enough to believe that Americans would revolt if they knew the truth about its tactics. That might be true if they weren’t so exhausted by their own daily struggles.

Yet another dispiriting depiction of corporate clout, “The Last Mountain” offers hope, too, in the form of wind-power success stories and the passion of frontline activists.

Theater screenings:

Coming Soon: Asheville, NC; Madison, WI; Kansas City, MO; Cleveland, OH; Ann Arbor, MI; Sacramento, CA and Santa Rosa, CA. Full details TBA.

July 8 – July 14 LOUISVILLE Village Theatre
July 8 – July 14 MINNEAPOLIS Lagoon Cinema
July 8 – July 14 ATLANTA UA Tara Cinemas
July 15 – July 21 AUSTIN Regal Arbor at Great Hills
July 15 – July 21 SEATTLE Landmark Varisty Theatre
July 15 – July 21 PORTLAND Regal Fox Tower
July 15 – July 21 DENVER Mayan Theatre
July 15 – July 21 BELLINGHAM Pickford Film Center
July 16 LONG BEACH, CA The Art Theatre
July 16 – July 21 STATE COLLEGE, PA The State Theatre
July 22 – July 28 KNOXVILLE Regal Downtown West
July 22 – July 28 CHARLOTTE Regal Park Terrace
July 22 – July 28 PITTSBURGH Harris Theater
July 22 – July 28 TORONTO The Royal
July 29 – August 4 LEXINGTON Kentucky Theatre
August 29 – August 30 JUNEAU Gold Town Nickelodeon
Sept. 5 – Sept. 6 JUNEAU Gold Town Nickelodeon
Sept. 8 – Sept. 15 NEWARK, DE Cinema Center 3
Sept. 15 – Sept. 18 WILMINGTON, DE Delaware Art Museum
Sept. 22 – Oct. 2 MILWAUKEE Milwaukee Film Festival
September 28 NORFOLK, VA Naro Cinema

Earlier posts:

Study showing higher birth defect rates adds another note of urgency to banning mountaintop removal coal mining in Appalachia

Mountaintop removal rally outside EPA headquarters excoriates ‘King Coal’ Congress members

From the top of Blair Mountain: “It’s time to annihilate mountaintop removal”

Hansen joins Appalachia Rising mountaintop removal coal protest, 100 arrested at White House

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